STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

The 2018 polls are tightening partially due to independents

More independents are saying they'll support the Republican candidate in 2018, which could be a warning sign for Demo...

Posted: Jun 1, 2018 2:49 AM
Updated: Jun 1, 2018 2:49 AM

More independents are saying they'll support the Republican candidate in 2018, which could be a warning sign for Democrats who hope an anti-Trump wave will help them seize control of the House majority.

The generic ballot -- voters are asked which party they'll support as opposed to a specific candidate -- has tightened in the most recent CNN poll, which was released in early May.

Forty-three percent of independents in CNN's most recent poll said they would vote for the Democratic candidate and 40% said they would support the Republican candidate, a small enough difference in the numbers that make them basically statistically equal.

While a generic Democratic candidate has been doing better than the Republican during all points of the 2018 cycle, at the beginning of the year, 50% of independents said they would vote for the Democratic candidate and 35% the Republican -- a 15-point gap in CNN's February poll that has decreased to 3 points in May.

The number of independent respondents saying "other" or "neither" to these options has increased to 11% in May from 4% in March. Independents are the most likely partisan group to say "other/neither" or "no opinion" -- at 11% and 6% respectively. Only 2% of Republicans have no opinion and 4% of Democrats. It's possible that independents are moving from "other/neither" or "no opinion" to make their decision, but it's still unknown at this point.

This dive for Democrats comes on the heels of some attention around the generic ballot tightening, not just in CNN's polling, but in many others. The most recent CNN polling had Democrats at a three-point lead, well within the margin of error. However, in February 2018, Republicans faced a 16-point climb.

Some of the other groups that have changed significantly since the high of the February poll:

  • White non-college graduates -- Support for a generic Democratic candidate went from 45% to 35%
  • Those under the age of 45 -- A 7-point gain for Republicans
  • Those with an income under $50K -- 9-point loss for Democrats, 7-point gain for Republicans
  • White voters -- (8-point gain for Republicans and loss for Democrats

Some pollsters include an option to say the respondent isn't sure who they're voting for or that they don't plan on voting in the election. Those pollsters will tend to have higher "undecided" numbers than those who let respondents volunteer that answer. That, combined with methodology differences in how polling was conducted, create a wide variance in what polls report. However, when looking at the overall picture, it's hard to not see the ballot tightening, with independents making up their minds.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 161516

Reported Deaths: 3916
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10708104
Hinds10519205
Harrison7555113
Jackson6708128
Rankin6130112
Lee547697
Madison5202110
Forrest400187
Jones382189
Lauderdale3727147
Lafayette344057
Washington3367108
Lamar307550
Lowndes261167
Oktibbeha259962
Bolivar250185
Panola240253
Neshoba2311122
Marshall227151
Leflore213991
Monroe212278
Pontotoc211231
Lincoln200867
Sunflower195555
Warren184958
Tate184051
Union176826
Copiah172540
Pike168360
Pearl River163870
Yazoo162940
Scott162730
Itawamba162637
Alcorn160428
Coahoma157844
Prentiss156732
Simpson155153
Adams148352
Grenada147145
Leake143344
Holmes135761
Covington135541
Tippah132530
George131725
Winston131726
Hancock130942
Wayne124924
Attala124735
Marion124248
Tishomingo114844
Chickasaw112132
Newton112129
Tallahatchie100727
Clay97127
Clarke95653
Jasper88523
Stone83115
Calhoun81513
Walthall79930
Montgomery78826
Carroll76315
Smith75716
Lawrence75214
Yalobusha74428
Noxubee74217
Perry69326
Tunica63519
Greene63022
Jefferson Davis60217
Amite59315
Claiborne59316
Humphreys55719
Quitman5117
Benton50518
Kemper49318
Webster47914
Wilkinson41322
Jefferson38712
Franklin3726
Choctaw3697
Sharkey33117
Issaquena1234
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 260359

Reported Deaths: 3776
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34716513
Mobile20452370
Madison14215153
Tuscaloosa13755173
Montgomery12731243
Shelby1110278
Baldwin9341137
Lee801566
Morgan722855
Etowah692170
Calhoun6809121
Marshall675058
Houston552739
DeKalb512940
Cullman480246
St. Clair460357
Limestone455046
Lauderdale443357
Elmore432567
Walker3861112
Talladega381157
Jackson361623
Colbert341546
Blount315845
Autauga289342
Franklin262634
Coffee257717
Dale244454
Dallas234932
Chilton233641
Covington232434
Russell23153
Escambia206932
Tallapoosa190291
Chambers187551
Clarke164120
Pike163814
Marion148236
Winston144725
Lawrence137336
Pickens129720
Geneva12818
Marengo126724
Bibb125238
Barbour121429
Butler120042
Randolph107022
Cherokee106724
Hale101432
Fayette99916
Clay94825
Washington93921
Henry8996
Monroe84611
Lowndes82629
Cleburne80714
Macon77122
Crenshaw73330
Conecuh72914
Lamar7258
Bullock70919
Perry6987
Wilcox65518
Sumter59522
Greene44518
Choctaw43519
Coosa3824
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Overcast
49° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 47°
Columbus
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 42°
Oxford
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 41°
Starkville
Broken Clouds
46° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 44°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather